Telegraph PM, Premature RIP For DIY PDF?


Call it serendipity or call it procrastination, every so often a browse through the internet in the name of research throws up something that makes you stop and think.

Late last week, it was this screenshot on the right.

Telegraph PM was launched in September 2006 as a downloadable afternoon edition of the Daily Telegraph.

A newspaper in PDF form, it was ‘published’ at 4pm each weekday with a further update at 5.30pm. It ran to 10 pages, made up of news, business, sport, entertainment, crosswords and – very 2006, this – a sudoku puzzle.

On launch, the Telegraph described it as:

Our commitment to being at the cutting edge of the new-media age.

Which sounds a little strange three years on.

Internet-enabled smartphones, WiFi and 3G dongles for your laptop have made the  printable take-away seem like an unnecessary indulgence. Why print when you can surf?

Telegraph PM was quietly dropped in January 2008.

In fact the downloadable PDF still lives on – and any Telegraph reader missing the ‘old’ form need only hold their nose, make their way across to the Guardian site, and print a copy of G24.

Perhaps G24 is still used in large numbers, maybe the overheads are small enough to sustain the remaining hardcore, or maybe the Guardian’s digital bosses have forgotten it exists.

Another alternative? Perhaps this is the future of print. Transfer the production costs to the user – or more likely the office HP LaserJet – and, hey presto the DIY PDF gives you the best of both worlds: the tangible value of print for the marginal cost of internet publishing.

6 thoughts on “Telegraph PM, Premature RIP For DIY PDF?”

  1. Didn’t the Guardian mock up a personalised news-sheet in the 1990s as an insert in the paper? It was tri-folded and printed on a kind of waxy paper (something about it being spill-proof…?) and the idea was you chose your own stories or themes each day then had it spat out of your printer built into your teasmaid or something.

    I can’t be bothered to Google the book publishing version (swish counter-top printer-binders in your local corner shop to produce a book from your file while-u-wait) but it always seemed obvious to me. You pay the author (and his designer mate) for a nicely typeset digital version, then pay the corner shop for printing it. It’s also relatively easy for specialist binders to make high-end versions – leather covers, higher quality paper etc – if you want something that looks nice on your bookshelf or it’s a tome you’ll want to go back to again and again. True disintermediation: the only losers are the centralised printers and publishers who only ever made money off the inefficiencies in getting one person’s ideas into other people’s heads.

  2. don’t see why not – the beauty of paper is it’s portability and there’s something much nicer about reading paper than squinting into an iPhone

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